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Letters to the editor for July 30

Invest in parking

Two things Hood River needs the most is worker housing and downtown parking. With the County buying more land for local worker housing, I wonder if this time local workers can actually help build the project instead of what happened the last time — local taxpayers helped fund affordable housing.

Which was after six months of going over numbers and working with a general contractor who was using all local workers, in the 11th hour a friend of the architect comes in to beat the price by 5 percent and farms in labor from Medford.

As far as parking goes. I think Hood River News can help save downtown businesses and livelihood by having a parking structure built in your own parking lot. Maybe the County can help fund that as well since everyone knows that we need it.

Sean M Palmieri

Hood River

Lot disappoints

I am so saddened by the situation in our little Community of Mt. Hood.

Mt. Hood Meadows was approved for a 3 acre parking lot without notice to neighbors or the community. The Planning Department considered a 249 car parking lot with two porta potties to be a Commercial Use and approved it.

When you think of the years and the effort of so many people who love the community they call home, and have it become the “over-flow” of Meadows, is very disappointing. I really thought that the Meadows, the Planning Department and the community had become wiser through the years; I guess not.

Jane Bratt

Parkdale

RC park inappropriate

As a Hood River County resident who lives adjacent to the Barrett Park property, I am dismayed by Hood River Parks and Recreation District’s decision to locate and finance a radio-controlled flyer field specifically installed for a small private club on the property.

However, it appears to be only the latest in a series of maneuvers by HRPRD to turn a highly inappropriate sloped property into Hood River’s version of Delta Park.

I say inappropriate not only because of the slope of the property. Barrett Park is located in an agricultural/residential area, and is zoned Exclusive Farm Use farmland. HRPRD bought a working orchard, had the trees ripped out, and then arrogantly believed that Oregon zoning laws would be adjusted to accommodate their project. Despite the years and the expense to taxpayers, HRPRD has not been given a green light by the County to develop Barrett Park, and with the exception of the Indian Creek trail along its north perimeter, it is closed to public use.

However, HRPRD has allowed a small aeromodelers club access to Barrett Park, a decision it justifies with the fact that radio-controlled aircraft are allowed on land zoned EFU by Oregon law.

Oregon law also considers ATV recreational riding an allowed usage on EFU, but that does not mean it should be indiscriminately allowed or allowed on public land without comment. The decisions to locate the airfield directly next to residences and then ultimately expand it this year were made without a noise assessment, public input, or neighborhood consensus.

Having lived directly next to the flyer field for over a year, I can attest to both the noise generated by the radio-controlled aircraft, particularly the helicopters, and the unrestricted access given to the individuals who participate. There is a pronounced lack of oversight by HRPRD, and the property is open to the club dawn to dusk. HRPRD has designated no buffer zone between the airfield and neighbors. Indeed, there is a general lack of space and consideration given to neighbors, evidenced by the fact that the club hung their sign on the fence post I share with the park, park their cars on the fence line, and located their port-a-potty on the back property line directly under my pear tree, one of the four trees left from the original orchard. Anyone familiar with the property would know that there are other places it could go.

Whatever the fate of Barrett Park, I believe this flyer field belongs on private acreage. It should not be funded by local taxpayers, and it is unacceptable that Parks and Recreation has chosen to do so.

Keir Bryerton

Hood River

Unintelligible alert

Shortly after lunch on Monday I received a rather unintelligible pre-recorded phone call, something about something being closed ... I think. After two unsuccessful replays and an equal number of attempts at other City and County offices (late lunch?), I called the Sheriff’s non-emergency number only to be informed that the message was to tell me that the bridge would be closed during some future late night hours.

I do appreciate advance notice about such events, but have to wonder if the area-wide phone calls are the most appropriate for that. And, if so, could I suggest that the caller test for “understandableness” on some unaware persons who will give them an honest opinion? The Sheriff’s office indicated I was already far from the first such query.

Dave Dockham

Hood River

Learn about liberty

On Aug. 2, 2014, Kris Anne Hall will be at Stevenson, Wash. She will be at the Hegewald Center on 710 S.W. Rock Creek Dr. between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

This is a free teaching and questions on our constitution for all. She is a disabled veteran of the U.S. Army, a Russian linguist, a mother, a pastor’s wife and a patriot. She now travels the country and teaches the Constitution and the history that gave us our founding documents.

We cannot give up on liberty. There is too much at stake. There are no shortcuts. We must put liberty first and walk the long and arduous path to restore America!

Bobbi Reisner

Hood River

Too many Chicken Littles

This is a great country! So what to make of the recent letter claiming that “Obama’s regime is destroying the fabric ... that made this country great” and “Obama’s constant attacks on the Constitution through non-stop executive orders” (see Roger Neufeldt’s Letter July 23). Despite the wrecking that the right wing claims Obama has done, most objective economic indicators show the country is doing quite well. The stock market has hit record highs, unemployment has dropped, the housing market has recovered and 12 million more people have health insurance. The reality is the economy has recovered, people are feeling more optimistic. This is a great country indeed!

The fear mongering from the “hate Obama first crowd” reminds me of the folktale, “Chicken Little.” Remember “the sky is falling, the sky is falling.” The moral is to make sure you have the right information, before deciding the “world is coming to an end.”

I suspect that Mr. Neufeldt’s fear that the country is falling apart comes from the usual sources of right wing propaganda. One of the more recent “falsies” filling up the right wing blogs is that Obama issued a record number 923 executive orders (EO) in his first term and that he is circumventing congress and destroying the Constitution. There are claims that Obama has issued orders for the government to take over the food supply, highways, airways, airports, effectively declaring martial law. And that would be frightening if it were true!

But this claim is so easily proven false. A quick internet search shows that he actually signed 148. Also, presidents number their EO’s consecutively. Obama’s first EO started with the number 13489 but the list roaring around the Internet falsely claims Obama issued EO numbers in 10990s that were actually issued in the 1960s.

So please, Righties, make sure you have the correct information before declaring “the sky is falling.” I think the real threat to this country is that we have too many Chicken Little’s voting ironically for “Chicken Hawks.” And many thanks to the “chicken hearted” Obama for not getting us into any more futile wars.

Guy Tauscher

Hood River

Another rant

Roger Neufeldt in his letter of July 23 typifies extreme right wing rantings. He writes his letter as if what he says is based on fact. In truth very little, if any, is factual. First, is his accusations that Obama’s executive orders are attacks on the Constitution. If this is so, then every president from FDR has also attacked the Constitution with executive orders. To date, Obama has issued 168 EOs. George W. Bush issued 291, Clinton 364, George Bush 166, Reagan 381 and the list goes on.

How about Obama “pitting the left against the right” and “he (Obama) blames Republicans for every problem facing this country?” From day one of Obama’s presidency, the Republican members of the House and Senate have made it their stated goal to first, make him a one term president, and second, to delay, block, under fund, repeal or deny any and all progressive legislature aimed at helping the citizens of this country.

How is nearly 10 million newly insured people (USA Today, July 16, 2014) an Affordable Care Act failure? I do not believe any administration has not had scandals. Oh, the IRS also scrutinize radical liberal organizations too, but who cares about those? The mess at border? When has Congress voted for increased spending for people and resources to stem this flow instead of some dumb fence? Making no decision to use force every time is a decision. Applying diplomatic solutions, not guns in a decision.

Oh yes, let’s not forget Obama’s golf games. Through Aug. 9, 2013 Obama has taken 95 days of vacation. Reagan spent over a full year on vacation in the same six and a half years. George W. spent 367 days over the same period and ended up with more than double that. Bush senior took more than 500 in his two terms. Obama has two and a half years to catch up with W’s, do you think he will make it? No president gets a true vacation, the job goes with him, in country or out.

If people would take the time to research the facts they might be able to write a letter based on something more than just opinion and do more than just rant.

Gary Fields

Hood River

Waking among poppies

In my opinion Roger Neufeldt’s praise-free analysis of the President was right on … so I’ll write on: Our Hollywoodish Entertainment Fund Raising Commander in Chief has a snow blinding smile that dazzled and hypnotized voters galore and got him elected twice.

But, like in “Oz” when Dorothy regained consciousness in that poppy field, a multitudinous amount of voters are washing up with the realization that perhaps behind Obama’s grandiose grin are grey cells thoroughly saturated with Socialistic arrogance and complete contempt for our precious Constitution. I think that what we have now is an awful, unlawful “Obama nation” that really is an abomination.

Bill Davis

Hood River

Stop parking lot in Mt. Hood

On June 23, Hood River County Planning made a decision to allow Mt. Hood Meadows to remove the trees and build a 249 space gravel Park and Ride on the Corner Loop property across from the Town Hall and Country Store.

While I fully support public transportation, using the heart of Mt. Hood for a park and ride will:

n Create huge noise and traffic congestion problems,

n Eliminate the possibility that the Corner Loop will ever develop into

n desirable mixed use business/residence district it was designed for, and

n Lower the quality of life and property values for affected property owners.

In the planning file that documents the application and decision process, the first question Meadows asked was if they could somehow do this under the existing zoning law as a Use Permitted Outright. This means they would not have to go through any type of a review process, or notice the local community. The planning department found a way; they are calling it a “commercial establishment.”

All traffic would exit onto Cooper Spur, about 150 feet down from where vehicles turn freely onto it from Hwy 35 doing about 50 mph. Even if it looks clear, you must make that turn quickly in case a car (or huge truck) comes around that corner. How would lumbering buses and 249 vehicles in a day fare? The most recently opened (tiny) business in that subdivision was required to complete a bathroom addition and install a very expensive septic system. Meadows is proposing two porta potties, and to make use of the restrooms of adjacent business. Really, it is in the application.

I met with Meadows Operations and Planning Manager, who stated that they have a 400 space parking lot at Meadows, and the traffic is fine and two porta potties work well. But that parking lot is not in the middle of a town, and all of their surrounding facilities have restrooms inside. He stated that the Park and Ride will be used for employees and for overflow parking on peak ski days. From what I read on the Meadows blog site, most existing patrons are not in favor of more parking as there are too many people on the mountain now on peak days.

Even if you believe a parking lot is a “commercial establishment,” and the rules say you don’t have to consider local impacts, it is just the right thing to do. Efforts are in the works to slow this process down using the Oregon State Land Use Board of Appeals. If you want to toss your name onto a supportive petition, they are available around Mt. Hood/Parkdale, or please email slowthemdown@gmail.com.

Libby Rossknecht

Mt. Hood

Please vote

Rhodes Island Town Hall Meetings and our Bill of Rights:

In the Royal Charter of 1663, Charles II, aware of the strong religious differences of each Rhodes Island town, created a legislative structure dependent on consent of all commonwealth towns.

In each Rhodes Island Town Hall Meeting decisions of policy were formed by a majority vote of those citizens attending. It was the sworn duty of the State Representative from each town to bring their town’s decisions of policy to the State General Assembly. This is the purest form of direct democracy.

In 1787, following citizens’ excitement of a newly drafted Constitution, they turned to the reality of ratification. Rhodes Island towns voted against ratification. Personal rights and Government oversight were not explicitly guaranteed in the newly drafted Constitution.

Two groups were formed. Federalists supported the Constitution as drafted. Anti-Federalists supported the Constitution as drafted but with the inclusion of an explicit Bill of Rights.

Federalists included George Washington, John Adams, and Alexander Hamilton. Anti-Federalists included Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, James Monroe, George Mason and Thomas Jefferson.

On May 29, 1790, Rhodes Island General Assembly voted 34 to 32 for ratification with the assurance of the passage of Federal Legislation to create a Bill of Rights. The two vote difference was attributed to a shift in vote at the Town Hall Meeting of Westerly, population 1,824.

Can you imagine? A vote during an Odell Town Hall Meeting (population 2,255) would decide freedoms for all United States citizens for the last 225 years.

Please, exercise your direct democratic right - Vote!

George Selleck

Odell

Afoul of decency

When the Russian-backed rebels shot down flight MH17, we said Russia and Putin were directly responsible as they supplied the rockets, technical support and training, likewise all Americans and Obama are directly responsible for the bombing of the UN-run hospital. We supplied the rockets, technical support and training and not like Russia we control our government. Think so? Think again, if you think we control our destiny (another reason to bear arms) you will see the politicians blaming the other or Israel, but the real blame is upon the American public for allowing our leaders to run afoul of decency for political greed. Take a stand and call your congressman, make them accountable or get rid of them, it’s your country.

Jim Burdick

Hood River

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